For anyone who’s been following politics seriously during the past few years, this should come as no surprise. Such behavior fits right into the “FOX News logic” paradigm that has come to dominate the conservative agenda. To name a few examples, they say they want to reduce spending and then demonize Obama for cutting subsidies to the private Medicare Advantage program by falsely asserting that the President seeks to gut Medicare. They say they want to fix budget deficits and support permanently extending the Bush tax breaks for everybody, which will cost roughly $3.6 to 3.9 trillion over the next decade. And they say they want to help small businesses even though they voted against Obama’s small business lending bill, which cut taxes for and pumped billions of dollars worth of loans into small businesses.
This sounds like a story you’d hear in The Onion. All I have to say is that America will get what it deserves. For two years the American people allowed radical psychopaths to dominate the political narrative with lies about government takeovers and death panels. The real story was how the Republican minority opposed every Obama initiative even when it came to conservative priorities, such as tax cuts and mandatory high risk insurance exchanges, all the while abusing the filibuster in ways that had previously been unimaginable during a time plagued by crises. This is what makes laughable the now popular notion that by voting Republican we’re more likely to see cooperation in Congress. Considering that cutting programs that don’t even exist is the Republicans’ idea of how to tackle the budget deficit, we’re in for a rough two years.
After a hysteria-filled campaign about the dire need to cut deficits, Republicans have finally announced an initiative. As Jackie Calmes of the New York Times reports, the Republican Study Committee issued a statement last week emphasizing that “Washington needs to get serious about cutting spending” and consequently unveiled their plan to terminate a program that already ended on September 30, saving $25 billion over ten years, according to their calculation.
The program, part of Obama’s Stimulus package, provided states with $5 billion over two years to bolster welfare and employment initiatives to help cope with the economic crisis. Considering that unemployment remains near 10%, House Democrats voted to continue the fund, but the Senate blocked the bill.